Why Fake It?

Decorating By fl_cake_lover Updated 23 Jan 2011 , 8:04pm by dsilvest

fl_cake_lover Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 5:19am
post #1 of 56

I have had a lot of brides ask about having a styrofoam cake with a portion cut out for real cake for the photo op. Then they want sheet cakes to be cut up for the guests. What is the reasoning behind this? The same material and time go into the decorating whether it's real cake or not. The only logical argument a bride gave me was that she wanted the cake to remain up for the entire reception because it was like art to her. I also understand portions may have to be fake based on the design, but other than that, I don't get it.

Today I had a bride switch from a decorator who was going to use styrofoam to me because she feels the other decorator must not be confident in her skills. I don't think that's the case, but I'm open to having my mind changed about this!

55 replies
Corrie76 Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 5:44am
post #2 of 56

Your bride might have her own reasons...but I think this idea of a dummy cake for show and sheet cakes to serve the guests is perpetuated from the "cake muggles" who write articles in bridal magazines. I can't tell you how many times I've read this "hot tip" for brides on a budget. I think a lot of brides are thinking this will save them money. I've never been approached about making a fake cake but if I was I'd probably charge the same as a real cake.

catlharper Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 7:28am
post #3 of 56

This is most certainly not to save money. A fake cake would cost 80% of what the real one would then you'd add the expense of the sheet cakes which would be 50%, at least, of what the tiered cake would cost. So let's say the original cake costs $400...the fake one would be $320 plus about $200 for the sheet cakes. Your $400 cake just turned into a $520 cake.

The most sensible reason for doing this that I have heard is that the venue provided a cake with the food but not as fancy as the bride wanted so she had a fake cake on display and then the venue served their sliced cake when the time came. Allowed the "look" for the bride but no cake cutting fees or issues with an outside vendor for the venue.

Cat

Skirt Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 7:40am
post #4 of 56

there are places that rent out fake cakes. So, a cake that might have cost $1000.00 + gets rented for say $250-300. That way, super ooh la la cake for the pics and sheet cake to serve.

indydebi Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 3:06pm
post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameRaz

I can't tell you how many times I've read this "hot tip" for brides on a budget. I think a lot of brides are thinking this will save them money.



In my ever so never humble opinion, the idea of fake + sheets is presented as if the bride only has to pay for sheet cakes "which everyone KNOWS are cheaper!" icon_eek.gif but any cost for the fake cake is totally omitted and overlooked.

because after all, isnt' a fake cake paid for with Monopoly "fake" money?? dunce.gif I mean, fake cakes don't really COST anything, right?

dsilvest Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 3:30pm
post #6 of 56

I make only faux (fake) cakes for rental. They are much less expensive to rent from me than to have a decorator make one especially for a wedding. My prices range from $50 to $250 to rent a cake for display purposes.

In my area, dessert (not necessarily cake) is included at most venues in the package price. Most of the time the real cakes are not eaten and are either given or thrown away or frozen. That is a huge waste of money as well.

The bottom line is the only way a bride will save money is to rent the cake from a cake rental company like mine. If she pays 80% of the price for a custom made one and then buys sheet cakes she will not save money.

misterc Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 3:59pm
post #7 of 56

This isn't quite the same situation but I do portions of wedding cakes fake quite often. When a bride wants a huge cake for presentation but doesn't want a mass amount of cake either because she is not inviting enough people or because she is having a dessert bar it is the perfect solution. She gets a small discount on the fake tiers but pays normal price on the rest of the cake. It saves her a bit of money and saves me a lot of time.

cupadeecakes Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 4:01pm
post #8 of 56

Diane, so you have x number of dummy cakes already made and the bride chooses from one of them? No customizations?

In that scenario, I can see the savings for the bride. But as a cake decorator, I don't think I have ever made the exact same cake twice, so it's hard for me to fathom 2 brides finding the same cake perfect for her wedding.

christeena Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 4:02pm
post #9 of 56

I am doing a "fake" cake for a co-worker's niece because her momma is going to do sheet cakes to serve.

In my mind, serving sheet cakes are tacky and an insult to the guests who has taken a lot of time, $$$ and energy to come to your wedding. For a little bit more $$ she can have the gorgeous cake to view and to serve her guests complete with yummy fillings, which you can bet that momma isn't going to do with her sheet cakes!

Now, when a bride needs more cake than the displayed cake will provide, I will do the extra cakes just like the wedding cake so no-one can tell the difference!

Cakeonista Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 4:03pm
post #10 of 56

Besides the cost I know that in my area catering halls prefer sheet cakes to tiered cakes because they are time savers. They can have sheet cakes cut up and ready to go for 250 people rather than wait for the couple to cut the cake and then bring it in the back and start cutting up that many servings. Makes a lot of sense depending on the size of the wedding.

alanaj Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 4:08pm
post #11 of 56

Okay...brides think they can save money by having sheet cakes in back and a fancy fake cake out front. I've had plenty of brides ask about this option and I explain that it won't in fact save them anything.

My issue is that the only way they can possibly do this is by getting super cheap sheets from somewhere else and that means if I make the dummy cake, people will assume that I made the sheets as well which may taste like crap. This frustrates me because even if I explain to brides that I don't want to be a part of that kind of situation, they may do it anyway without my knowledge. How do you get around that?

dsilvest Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 4:13pm
post #12 of 56

"Diane, so you have x number of dummy cakes already made and the bride chooses from one of them? No customizations?"


I have 25+ cakes for brides to choose from. They are customized to match the decorating scheme at the reception. I don't think a cake has gone out looking the same twice. If I don't have exactly what she is looking for I will custom design a cake to her specifications. These cakes will then become part of my stock cake collection.

Take a look at my gallery to see the different styles.

http://eleganzacakes.web.officelive.com/gallery.aspx

leafO Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 4:35pm
post #13 of 56

Beautiful cakes dsilvest! How do you store them? Do you charge a refundable deposit along with the rental fee?

dsilvest Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 4:40pm
post #14 of 56

The cakes are stored in a spare room. They are covered lightly in plastic to keep the dust off.

When a bride rents the cake she also gives me a damage deposit. If the cake comes back in perfect condition, she gets the full amount of the damage deposit back. If it is really damaged she forfits the damage deposit. If it is slightly damaged, she loses a portion of the damage deposit.

cownsj Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 4:41pm
post #15 of 56

dsilvest, you do gorgeous work.

dsilvest Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 6:04pm
post #16 of 56

Thanks leafO and cownsj.

SweetThingBlackOrchid Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 7:01pm
post #17 of 56

If we may....
There is a very serious and RAPIDLY growing market for faux cakes. There are 2 scenarios for which we make them.
1. We have partnerships with several hotels that have their own signature cake on hand to show off to their clients. EXCELLANT marketing strategy for those of you trying to grow your business.

2. For brides/other clients: Consider what is happening right now in the cake world. Clients are asking for cakes more and more over the top everyday(trust me we've had some doosies). This is where faux cakes can really be of service. While we would rather stretch our skills and pride to make a real cake, depending on what the client asks for, the price per slice for some of their requests may be well outside of their budget with a real cake.

Heres a good example...we had a 525 person wedding...the groom choose a very elaborate design that would have cost $15 per slice....(is the math on that one making your head spin yet?) Their real cake would have been $7875....plus delivery and set up. Of course as smart business peeps, we were salivating at the chance. As good advisors to our clients, we knew the more pratical approach for this client (knowing their budget restraints) was the faux cake avenue. The new math brought them to less than $2500. They ended up with a lovely display cake (with a real slice for cutting) and sheet cakes in back....conveniently cut and ready to go as someone else mentioned.

Mind you, it is important to execute the sheet cakes well also. To someone elses point...their are some guests who pay attention to EVERYTHING. Make sure your sheet cake looks good too. Maybe do a quick torte to give it some pizazz.

Just an opinion....we're just sayin icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 7:17pm
post #18 of 56

The only reasons I can think of is the previous poster, who said that they needed so many servings they ordered a dummy cake and kitchen cakes (although I don't know why they wouldn't have just ordered a smaller real cake and additional kitchen cakes)...

Or one time I had a bride who wanted 7 tiers but only 150 servings of cake...did not want to throw cake away...but wanted the tiers. That worked out okay. I charge $1/less per serving for dummies.

Annabakescakes Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 7:40pm
post #19 of 56

I don't think it is fair to market a fake cake as an alternative to a real cake because "real" cake gets thrown away. What is to stop the sheet cakes from getting thrown away? They are both cake! To keep the real cake from being left over, the serving amount needs to be calculated correctly, and the cake needs to be served on time, and cut correctly. That's it.

dsilvest Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 7:50pm
post #20 of 56

I recently spoke with a MOG who told me that only 9 slices were eaten from her son's $900 wedding cake. The venue supplied dessert as part of the package and she could not delete this from the contract.

Truthfully the real cake was not needed, a faux one would have been the answer in this case. It was not about calculating the correct amount, it was about the duplication of the two dessets. Think about the food and money that was wasted.

Kitagrl Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 8:07pm
post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

I don't think it is fair to market a fake cake as an alternative to a real cake because "real" cake gets thrown away. What is to stop the sheet cakes from getting thrown away? They are both cake! To keep the real cake from being left over, the serving amount needs to be calculated correctly, and the cake needs to be served on time, and cut correctly. That's it.




The bride herself did not want all the extra cake being wasted. That's what she said. And true, if you have 150 people, you would rather not buy 300 servings of cake if you want a wedding cake to look extra large.

Annabakescakes Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 8:10pm
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsilvest

I recently spoke with a MOG who told me that only 9 slices were eaten from her son's $900 wedding cake. The venue supplied dessert as part of the package and she could not delete this from the contract.

Truthfully the real cake was not needed, a faux one would have been the answer in this case. It was not about calculating the correct amount, it was about the duplication of the two dessets. Think about the food and money that was wasted.




But that is just stupid to phase out the wedding cake at a venue. Wedding cake is traditional and everybody loves to see the cake. There are people who seriously get pi$$ed if they don't have a piece of cake.

Don't people get to pick the dessert they want? Just say,"I want wedding cake for my dessert." Problem solved.

Yeah, wasted food and money suck, but so does thinking you are going to eat delicious cake and finding out that it is Styrofoam.

aligotmatt Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 8:30pm
post #23 of 56

Other reasons to "fake it" Your bride wants to have her wedding at a garden, in the summer, with fresh fruit filling. Fake cake for display with the real cake in coolers and waiting to be served.

Or they want another soft filling or mud cake or something to serve, but want a fondant heavy designed cake...

Navyempress Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 9:17pm
post #24 of 56

People's appetites must be different in Canada.. I have never met anyone who thought a fake cake was a good idea. Thankfully most of them don't know about the "trend" so after I explain that the cake displayed is a fake to save money, most people agree it's tacky. Others still don't understand the reasoning for it.

The only time I would do it or suggest it is if it was to add height to a smaller serving cake. Thankfully the people I know and have met like eating cake and wouldn't waste any of it. Cake is awesome for breakfast!

What I don't understand is, if you know the people are not going to eat the cake, why have one to begin with? You are willing to waste money on a tradition that people don't care about? I don't get it?

dsilvest Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 9:20pm
post #25 of 56

People's tastes are different here. The wedding cake does not have the same importance as in many parts of the US. In fact at some of the venues they have noticed 50% of their brides don't have a cake because of the expense and waste.

Many brides like the tradition of having a cake on display but don't necessarily need it to be served to their guests.

From the business side, faux cakes allow many decorators the opportunity to decorate wedding cakes if they are unable to become legal. You just decorate, no baking involved. No health inspections or seperate kitchens are needed.

Peridot Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 9:25pm
post #26 of 56

I think the venues are at fault for not allowing the dessert portion to be removed from the contract if the couple wants to have a wedding cake instead of a dessert bar etc. All the venue is thinking about is the money on their end and not customer service. The venue could easily offer two options if they wanted to.

cownsj Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 9:27pm
post #27 of 56

My niece just got in engaged right before Christmas. My brother asked them if they wanted a big wedding which he's paying for, or would they prefer a smaller wedding and the rest as a gift to help them get started in life.
They chose the smaller wedding saying it makes more sense to get off on the right financial foot. (I'm so proud of my niece).

We offered to make their cake for them as our wedding present. I told this to my brother just yesterday and that's when I learned about the info above. I told him to let the happy couple know that if they still want a huge cake for the impact and drama, and look, and all that, we can still do that, just do the whatever portion of the cake as a dummy cake, and the rest in real cake to serve their guests.

Under these circumstances it makes sense, and maybe this has nothing to do with the overall feel of this topic, but it's one reason for using a fake. And did I mention how proud I am of my niece for her mature decision? icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 9:49pm
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakeonista

Besides the cost I know that in my area catering halls prefer sheet cakes to tiered cakes because they are time savers. They can have sheet cakes cut up and ready to go for 250 people rather than wait for the couple to cut the cake and then bring it in the back and start cutting up that many servings. Makes a lot of sense depending on the size of the wedding.



While I understand this is done a LOT, I just don't get the idea of whisking the cake away to cut it in double-secret-probation! icon_confused.gif

cut up and ready to go? does that mean the sheets are already cut, getting exposed to air, just sitting on a counter, getting stale by the second (since cut cake does that faster than an uncut cake), while waiting around for the time to serve? And everyone thinks this is better?? icon_confused.gif

In my area, watching the cake being cut is part of the receptoin ... like throwing the bouquet, the garter and the first dance.

Why are cakes cut in the back anyway? Maybe its a regional thing but in 30 years of doing weddings, I've seen ONE cake that was taken away and cut in the back. It was a co-worker and she had a fake cake. When people saw the bake beign taken away, they starting asking, "What's going on? Why is the cake gone? Is there a problem with ti?" and many started wondering if they were getting the old bait-n-swtich, to which I explsined that pretty much yes .... because the cake was a fake just for display. ALL of the people at my table and a few at the surrounding tables thought that was tacky as all git-out and found it a pretty disgusting thing to do "to the guests".

Cutting a wedding cake is so freakin' simple .... they are cut the exact same way as a square or a rectangle or a sheet cake! If a food professional doesn't know that, they have no business cutting a wedding cake to start with! Send them my link to "how to cut a cake"! With my method, I can have a cake for 200 cut and served inside of 20 minutes .... and that's when I'm working it by myself. With a helper laying out the plates, its even faster.

JackieDryden Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 9:58pm
post #29 of 56

I made a 5 tier stacked, zebra print fake cake for someone who also wanted a monkey cake. She didn't care if the large cake was real or not. So I made it fake, just to save me the time baking, cutting, and all the extra supports and boards.

I did charge alot less for what I normally would have charged had it been real. i noticed pictures on facebook, she also added sheet cakes with the printable images of the birthday girl-a 2 year old, which is why she didn't care if the large one was real or not.

Kind of goes both ways-save me lots of time, but what would she have done if it were real? Just throw it away? Her daughter likes the grocery store whipped creme icing better.

cownsj Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 10:44pm
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


Why are cakes cut in the back anyway? Maybe its a regional thing but in 30 years of doing weddings,




I'm in the NY metro area and I can't recall seeing a cake cut in front of the guests in over 40 years. They do the cake cutting, feeding each other, then the cake is whisked off to the kitchen to be cut. I had no idea it was still cut in front of people anywhere.

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